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megavolt512 last won the day on April 2 2018

megavolt512 had the most liked content!

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About megavolt512

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  • Birthday 01/10/1963

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    MV, Inc.
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    Austin, TX
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    Full Service Shop

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  1. Since I started this thread I thought I'd share my final solution. I finally had it with the Onan generator/hydraulic pwr combo. I spent more money keeping that Onan running than the whole truck. I replaced the Onan with a Honda GX160 horizontal shaft engine. They may hydraulic pump adapters that just bolt on to it. Problem is, the GX160 likes to run around 3000rpm, the Onan 1800. Movement was way too fast. I replaced the pump with one half that flow rate, and it works beautifully. The GX160 is quiet, easy to start, easy to maintain. I can run it for 3 hours and use half a
  2. (Post-date back to April 1) All signs in the US are neon. They tried to market LED signage here but nobody bought it. Even traffic signals are neon. They are talking about requiring all signs to be neon after 2023. I think it's already a law in some states.
  3. Pretty strong validation of the old "within line of sight" disconnect requirement.
  4. Agree completely on not using plastic tube supports. I don't use them on anything these days - not even the smallest window sign. The neon has a 10 year life and the plastic tube supports a 3-5 year life. There is always trouble down the road. Sometimes the plastic disintegrates in only a couple of years. Acrylic or Polycarb - UL listed or not. all have this problem. I think the ozone produced near the tube surface breaks down the plastic. Throw in some direct sunlight and you really have trouble. I really like the silicone-dipped glass tube supports both FMS and others sel
  5. Ditto on the brake (up to 1/8in). I still prefer acrylic (1/4in-3/8) for most window signs. Stiffer than polycarbonate and seems to age a bit better too. You can use solid square or round stock (I use 1in solid rod) for the standoffs.
  6. Eugene, some excellent insight from the other posters in this topic, so I'll just add my brief comments. We have (or are) all been here. I'm in my last half of my life in this profession and a few things are really becoming clear. I think most of these apply to all of us: 1. there is no shortage of work in most areas right now. The main goal for everyone now is not getting work, but weeding out the bad work so you can spend your time on good clients. 2. A lot of work out there is just not worth doing by anyone. Either someone is not willing to pay for it, or they are asking for things
  7. I'm starting to see a lot of LED sellers claim their products are "LM79 and LM80 certified" - yet there is no mention of what these tests actually revealed. My understanding is that LM79 measures total luminous flux, luminous efficacy, light distribution, and a few others. It's not a pass-fail type of test, it's a report that can be used to evaluate a product. Modules, etc. from everyone seem to be getting better, but it's definitely still buyer-beware.
  8. There is an electric sign co/service outfit here in my city who confided in me this week they no longer had any of their own customers. 100 percent of their biz is through an out of state broker. The really crappy thing about that sort of relationship is that you no longer set the terms for your own business. Someone you have never met may (and probably will) one day tell you things have changed: -You'll now get paid at 180 days -You are limited to $30 for any travel -All overages are your problem -hold on funds if there is a callback Could go on of course...
  9. Are you aware of any instances when this policy was enforced?.....just curious because before this forum I never heard this issue brought up. It's interested since the industry seems to be gravitating to the big national manufacturers and the small local installation/service companies. It's not really enforced here in Texas at all. Even though it is written in law that you can not sell, or offer to sell electrical services of any kind without a licensed presence in the state and a Texas master electrician on the payroll. For better or worse, I think electric signs - especially the service
  10. I've really been getting an earful lately from electric sign techs. I don't ever remember seeing this much job dissatisfaction. Most tell me it is the out-of-state maintenance companies (sign repair brokers, etc.) that are ruining it for them. They are being asked to rediculously document every last detail of the repair, give an all-inclusive estimate before they've started the job. And the service company's know very little about electric signs to begin with. I met a tech today who showed me some of the communication he banter's back and forth with a service company. It was a joke - alm
  11. I agree with most of the China-vs-West ideas, but I think China in a business sense is more capitalistic than the US and other rich Western countries. A dear friend of mine runs a business in Hong Kong. As as business you can pretty much do what you want there. Copyrights, environmental regulations, truth in advertising, etc. are not strictly enforced. Money dictates the rules. The government is of course very anti-democratic - but I think business there is much more slanted toward pure capitalism than many other places. Capitalism does provide incentive to work harder and do better... b
  12. Wow that's really bad. They can't even wrap electrical tape... in an application that shouldn't even have electrical tape.
  13. I don't have a problem with insuring risk. It is always there. But it seems as if ALL risk (even 2nd and 3rd-party negligence) is being transferred to contractors. If you can transfer risk you get lower insurance rates. But the person assuming the additional risks (that would be people like us) are paying higher rates. As long as we can buy it, bill it, and people are willing to pay it I guess there is not much problem. But at some point it could make electric sign work seem so egregiously expensive that folks start looking at other advertising means that do not have such high costs.
  14. Is anyone else seeing a rapid increase in the number of parties who what to be listed as "additional insureds"? The general contractor, the building owner, the building partners, the building property manager. Oh yes, and a round of subrogation waivers too please! I can pay more money and get the "blanket" additional insured's for everyone like I'm sure many of you do, but it gets to be a gray area when some of these folks are people you do not have a written contract yet. Even with the blanket there is paperwork involved to make sure each of these parties actually qualifies for it as per
  15. classic ungrounded metal cans
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